Las Vegas, NV

Revisiting the Deadliest Mass Shooting in American History

Hdogar

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Stephen PaddockWikipedia

On 1 October 2017, people like you and I planned to enjoy a music festival with their friends and family, oblivious of what was waiting ahead of them. A deadly mass shooting of a continuous eleven minutes took place on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, leaving many dead and most injured. The Vegas incident scarred Americans such that no music festival has been held on Route 91 since the horrific 2017 mass shooting incident.

The Man Behind America’s Deadliest Mass Shooting

Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old, was a normal looking retired accountant. Paddock became a real estate investor after retirement. His friends and family never complained of anything bizarre. Instead, they remember Paddock as a helpful and pleasant person in their interviews. Paddock was born in Nevada and lived a typical life. He had great friends and family. He had one long term girlfriend after two divorces.

Paddock’s clean criminal and clinical records made it very difficult for the Police to deduce the probable cause behind 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police took ten months to complete their investigation on the mass shooting. However, they still failed to answer the core question: Why did Paddock do what he did?

Paddock Checks in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino

On 25 September 2017, Stephen Paddock checked in the Mandalay Bay resort and casino. Stephen asked for a suite high in the sky that overlooked Route 91 Harvest festival. He did not get the room immediately. However, the resort later gave him a Vista suite numbered 135 on floor 32 for free. Paddock was a regular customer at the resort. He was often given free rooms and food from the resort for being a regular customer. No one from the management expected him to rain down gunshots for eleven minutes straight.

Transporting 21 Suitcases Full of Weapons into the Hotel Room in 5 Days

The investigation makes it evident that Stephen Paddock had been planning the mass shooting for quite some time. He had complete knowledge of the ballistic motion of bullets. Paddock knew well that suite number 135 on the 32nd floor would be the ideal vantage point.

Paddock transported twenty-one bags full of weapons to his suite in less than one week. He was never checked for his odd behaviour as he was a regular customer. Paddock brought 24 guns and thousands of ammunition into the hotel without being noticed at all.

Route 91 Harvest Music festival Starts and Paddock Starts His Killing Spree

On 1 October 2017, the music festival started at 09.40 pm. The country music star Jason Aldean performed first on the stage for approximately thirty minutes before the shooting began.

At 10.05 pm, the Paddock fired from his suite window right at the crowd. People confused the shooting with firecrackers at first until a few people shot. Everyone started running, which caused further panic.

Stephen Paddock set up three cameras to view what was going on in the corridor outside his room. Jesus Campos, a security officer at Mandalay Bay, happened to check an open door on floor 32 when he was shot in his leg by Paddock. Campos claimed he did not see the fire coming at all. Campos never planned to check Paddock’s room. Campos stayed on the floor and alerted the security department of Mandalay Bay and LVMPD.

Arrival of the Police

At 10.12 pm, the Police arrived outside Mandalay Bay resort and casino. The Police started entered Mandalay Bay hotel and began evacuating the place and securing the perimeter. Upon reaching the 31st floor, the Police figured out that shots were being fired from 32nd floor. The officers secured the perimeter and waited for the back up to arrive as they thought there were multiple shooters.

One of the Police officers recalls that it was his second day of joining the LVMPD. Some police officers who responded to Paddock’s firing were also shot and injured by the assailant.

11 Minutes of Non-Stop Shooting

After eleven minutes of continuous shooting, the gunfire stopped completely at 10.15 pm. No gunshot wound or firing was heard or seen after it. At 10.17 pm, two police officers reached the 32nd floor and found Campos, the security guard lying on the floor. Campos informed them about Paddock’s room. Eight more officers later joined the two police officers. They assumed that at least three gunmen must be involved in this mass shooting. The LVMPD called for a reinforcement team to overpower Paddock. The Police waited for the SWAT team meanwhile evacuating floor 32 completely. At 11.20 pm, SWAT arrived and broke into Paddock’s suite. They found his suite full of suitcases brimming with ammunition and guns. Stephen Paddock’s Lifeless body was found lying in his room. The final reports claimed that Paddock killed himself from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. At 11.58 pm, LVMPD declared that the gunman was down.

A total crowd of 22,000 people attended the musical night at Las Vegas Boulevard. The deadly mass shooting caused the death of 58 people and left 850 people injured.

Why Did He Do It?

After a 10-month probe, Police still couldn’t come up with any possible answer to Paddock’s unspeakable crime. Paddock left no suicide note and had no history of mental illness or criminal record. The Police claimed it was difficult to develop any possible theory as to why he did what he did. Paddock’s brother believed it was because he got bored of his life as he had done everything in life.

The LVMPD concluded that Paddock’s motivation was his desire to die doing something notorious. According to Dr Palarea, Paddock wanted to be remembered for his notorious act. “Some people kill for notoriety and infamy, and that’s what he did” (WSJ). However, the official reason that led Paddock to commit the sinful crime of mass shooting remains unknown to date.

Public Acts of Kindness to Comfort the Victims

The incident of the Las Vegas Massacre left Nevada scarred. In the bitterest of times, kind people managed to ease the pain of those who lost their loved ones and those who suffered. Lutheran Charity church sent 19 golden retriever comfort dogs to the suffering families. People like Greg Zanis, a carpenter by profession, paid public memorial to the victims by making 58 wooden crosses. Zanis extended these crosses from Illinois to Las Vegas in memory of the ones who lost their lives in the incident.

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